The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has dismissed an application by defence to discharge former president Bakili Muluzi, saying the graft-busting body will continue the trial to its logical conclusion depiste the lead prosecutor Reyneck Matemba recused himself from the case.
Appearing in chambers of Judge Maclean Kamwambe on Thursday, ACB’s Chrispine Khunga asked for four weeks for the graft-busting body to reorganise themselves and reconstitute the prosecution team after the recusal of Matemba.
“The State is willing to prosecute the matter to its logical conclusion,” Khunga informed the judge.
He said ACB is in the process of re-engaging private practise lawyer Clement Mwala – who handled the case in the past – to take it up.
Defence lawyers Tamanda Chokhotho and Jai Banda maintained their plea for court to discharge Muluzi, who ruled the southern African country between 1994 and 2004, and his co-accused, his former personal assistant Lyness Violet Whisky, saying whenever the State will be serious and organised, they can re-open the matter.
“It is the law of justice and fairness,” said Chikhotho.
He pointed out that the State is failing to proceed with the case due to “ internal lapses and misunderstanding.”
Muluzi and Whisky stand accused of diverting at least US$ 13 million of what the State had claimed was donor money meant for various government development projects to his personal accounts.
He denies the charges, and vehemently alleged they were pressed on him for political persecution by his successor Bingu wa Mutharika.
Financial experts say donor money cannot be easily deposited into a personal account.
Judge Kamwambe reserved the ruling on whether to discharge the case next Tuesday.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :